10mm v. 40 & 9mm v. 380


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jgo296
March 4, 2008, 09:13 PM
ive been a little puzzled
i see people say that there isnt much difference between a 10mm and a .40s&w
i also see people say the 9mm is powerful but the .380 auto is far too weak
case lengths:
10mm - 25.2mm
.40s&w - 21.6mm
9mm - 19.15mm
380 - 17.3mm (just for kicks 45acp - 22.8mm & 45gap 19.2mm)

the difference between a 9mm and 380 is less than 2mm
where as the difference between the 10mm and 40s&w is better than 3.5mm

can anyone explain why a lesser difference is perceived as a greater one?

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jgo296
March 4, 2008, 09:49 PM
oh and the difference between the 45acp and 45 gap is the same as the difference in 10mm to 40 s&w the 45gap uses higher pressure and still doesnt equal the 45acp
the 10mm is rated to higher pressure than the 40s&w but is still discounted as only slightly better by many

SHOOT1SAM
March 4, 2008, 09:56 PM
jgo296,

The main reason for the dichotomy in the differences between the cartridges you mention is that virtually all .380's are shot in blowback pistols, while 9mm's are shot in locked-breech designs.

The blowback design depends on the recoil spring to hold everything in place while the bullet travels down the barrel and cannot withstand the much greater recoil impulse of 9mm's unless they are freakishly big, a la, Hi-Point pistols. Someone else will likely come along and give you a better explanation between the blowback & locked-breech designs.

.380 ammo simply cannot compete on a real-world basis with 9mm ammo because the locked-breech design is able to withstand the increased c.u.p.'s.

OTOH, most factory 10mm ammo is downloaded to not much more than .40 S&W ammo, so the difference, in this regard, is not too much. However, if the 10mm is loaded to its full-potential, it far outclasses the .40 S&W.

Sam

Cowboy2
March 4, 2008, 10:06 PM
Its not just how much powder you can cram into a case (length), its also what type of powder, case thickness, and what the gun firing it is built for. You might be able to make a .380 load that would match a regular 9mm in velocity and pressure, and that load would probably blow your .380 pistol up in relatively short order.

Case length does not equal power. You can safely load and shoot .45 Colt ammo in a Blackhawk or Contender that will kaBoom your SAA clone real quick.

golden
March 4, 2008, 10:42 PM
The 10 m.m. was the first commercial attempt to fill the 9m.m/.45ACP gap. It failed for several reasons.
1. The BREN TEN sales and marketing was a disaster. Many guns were sent out without even 1 magazine. The guns were in some cases unreliable, poor quality control.
2. The early 10 m.m. loads from NORMA were to hot for the purpose with recoil approaching .41 magnum levels intead of .45ACP.
3. 10m.m. guns had to be as large as .45ACP pistols.
4. It was not that long after the 10m.m. MEDIUM VELOCITY loads were produced that the .40 S&W hit the scene. It became hard to justify a LARGE, HEAVY pistol when the same power was available in a lighter, smaller, usually cheaper and more advanced pistol.

The .40 S&W was and is a success because,
1. It had recoil similar to the .45ACP.
2. 9m.m. pistols could be rechambered for it. As a result, popular guns like the S&W 4006 and GLOCK 22 as well as top quality guns like the SIG 229 were quickly available and could be bought for the same price as a 9m.m. This also reduced training time and costs as in some cases, the same size equipment and operating training could be retained as is the GLOCK 22 replacing the GLOCK 17.
3. The timing was perfect for a new cartridge that could UP GUN police departments that were concerned that the 9m.m. was not powerful enough.
4. Ammo companies jumped onto the new caliber quickly.

The 9m.m. crosses the police-self defense power threshhold, while the .380 is generally not considered powerful enough. I do not know of any city, county, state or federal agency that considers the .380 powerful enough for uniformed officers.
By using +P ammo, the 9m.m. becomes much more effective than the .380 round which cannot be up loaded to higher pressure without a major liability issue.

Jim

jimbob86
March 4, 2008, 10:55 PM
10mm (the first modern .40, IIRC) loaded to its full potential is roughly equivalent to .357 Magnum in power. I recall an aquaintance of Col. Cooper telling me that he referred to the new (at that time) .40S&W as the ".40 Short & Weak", and that it was adopted because certain limp wristed government agents found the recoil of the recently(at that time) adopted 10mm unbearable.....

MachIVshooter
March 4, 2008, 11:41 PM
To answer the question in the simplest terms possible using the classic equation of energy in foot pounds: (using rough averages of factory loads and handloads I have chronographed)

Standard loads:

.380:............ 195 ft/lbs

9x19mm:....... 370 ft/lbs

.40 S&W:...... 410 ft/lbs

10mm:.......... 550 ft/lbs

Top loads:

.380:............ 260 ft/lbs

9x19mm:....... 480 ft/lbs

.40 S&W:...... 560 ft/lbs

10mm:.......... 790 ft/lbs

gbelleh
March 4, 2008, 11:54 PM
.380 bullet weights are also usually substantially less than 9mm bullet weights.

Northalius
March 5, 2008, 01:21 AM
If you buy hot Double Tap 10mm rounds, then the 10mm pulls away. The 10mm is very close (and matches in one case, so I've read) to the .41 Magnum! The 10mm is superior, so I've read, to the .357 Magnum in many areas.

There's a reason why, like I always say, many hunters (including Ted Nugent) like using the Glock 20 in 10mm, to take down big game! It's damn powerful! And you get 15 in the magazine, 1 in the chamber of this stuff! Now that's some firepower in a pistol right there!

Not only is the 10mm Glock 20 the most powerful Glock, but the 10mm round is the most versatile round for semi autos, that I've heard of.

Going with Double Tap, you get buy 135 grain JHP rounds, traveling at 1600+ fps, with roughly 750+ ft/lbs. force! Then you can get loads on the regular market as weak as .40 S&W, if you want... but it's a waste, since the 10mm was meant for much more. You can get 180 grain DT traveling at 1300+ fps, and 200-230 grain FMJ for hunting.

No .45 ACP, 9mm, .40, .380 or .357 SIG caliber matches (nor even nears) the power of the 10mm, when the 10mm is loaded to what it originally was meant for! That's what Double Tap ammo is for!

MachIVshooter
March 5, 2008, 01:33 AM
Going with Double Tap, you get buy 135 grain JHP rounds, traveling at 1600+ fps, with roughly 750+ ft/lbs. force! Then you can get loads on the regular market as weak as .40 S&W, if you want... but it's a waste, since the 10mm was meant for much more. You can get 180 grain DT traveling at 1300+ fps, and 200-230 grain FMJ for hunting.

Those of us that handload for guns stronger than the Glock 20 can push the envelope even further ;) (think 180 grain Golden Sabre at 1406 FPS)

Big Boomer
March 5, 2008, 02:20 AM
Mmmmm cookies...

Big Boomer
March 5, 2008, 02:32 AM
Going with Double Tap, you get buy 135 grain JHP rounds, traveling at 1600+ fps, with roughly 750+ ft/lbs. force! Then you can get loads on the regular market as weak as .40 S&W, if you want... but it's a waste, since the 10mm was meant for much more. You can get 180 grain DT traveling at 1300+ fps, and 200-230 grain FMJ for hunting.

Now any thread that mentions the 10mm, albeit a good round should also let those know that a similar difference from the 40 to the 10mm occurs in a 3 stepped pattern for the 45 Super and the 460 Rowland.

So 10mm loaded hot and get you to 750 plus fpe

The 45 Super, while capable of being fired from a few 45acp manufacturers stock such as the HK45 and others only requiring a spring change. Some adding a little extra spring power here and there with an egw firing pin stop.

The 45 Super can reach 808fpe with a 185 grain gold dot moving at 1403 fps. I shoot these all the time in my 1911's.
(45 Super available from many manufacturers now)

Now with a barrel change, I can go with the 460 Rowland (now available from Corbon) 230gr at 1250fps for 798 fpe, or 185gr at 1425fps for 834fpe.

Now the above loads for the 460 are kinda weak, they can achieve results such as 185gr golden saber at 1503fps for 931fpe, even on the heavy end you can get a 230gr hornady XTP going 1332fps for 909fpe all from a 1911, imagine that!

So even though the case size of the 45 ACP and the 45 Super are exactly the same in length there are HUGE variations as to its capabilities. The 460 is only slightly longer as to allow it to not be loaded into a standard 45acp so it doesn't KB it. Pressures for these rounds are in the 10mm range so it's not like they are uber nuclear or anything.

And albeit a bit pricey, wilson combat just released a factory 460 Rowland this year at the SHOT show.

NWdude83
March 5, 2008, 02:56 AM
People hunt Black Bear with 10mm, how many people can say that of .40S&W?

loop
March 5, 2008, 05:41 AM
The difference in the 40 and the 10 is in the webbing (case base) of the cartridge. The 10 can handle significantly higher pressures because the case is significantly stronger.

To experience optimum performance from a 10 you have to hand load. If you hand load you can easily coax 200 fps more out of the 10 over factory loads.

Powder capacity has nothing to do with it. Measure case head thickness of any 40 and compare to 10.

OTOH, it is a law of diminishing returns. The 10 will frequently pass through its target without delivering full energy (doesn't expand). Sometimes slower is better - see "Hatcher's Notebook."

golden
March 6, 2008, 09:29 AM
It is amazing how many people have mentioned all the virtues of the 10 m.m. while not mentioning that these virtues are only attained with heavy recoil. If you have .41 magnum power, you have .41 magnum recoil.
Notice that neither the 10 m.m. or .41 magnum are used by police departments anymore. BOTH WERE DESIGNED SPECIFICALY FOR THIS MARKET.

The 10m.m. is now a niche round and will stay that way.

Jim

MachIVshooter
March 6, 2008, 10:54 AM
It is amazing how many people have mentioned all the virtues of the 10 m.m. while not mentioning that these virtues are only attained with heavy recoil. If you have .41 magnum power, you have .41 magnum recoil.

No one said the 10mm was lacking in recoil with full power loads. On that note, many of us consider the recoil of .41 and even .44 magnum to be very moderate. Add that the action of a 10mm pitol absorbs a good bit of the felt recoil, and it's very manageable.

Notice that neither the 10 m.m. or .41 magnum are used by police departments anymore. BOTH WERE DESIGNED SPECIFICALY FOR THIS MARKET.

The .45 Colt and .38 Special also fel out of favor with law enforcement. Does that make them bad cartridges?

The 10m.m. is now a niche round and will stay that way.

Though it will likely never be as mainstream as 9x19, .40 or .45, there are more firearm and ammunition companies playing with the round now than ever before. It is much more popular than the .41 Mag and a number of other newer cartridges. There are nearly 2 dozen current production firearms chambered in 10mm, with several more in the works. Both the Delta Elite and Bren-10 are due to hit the market again soon.

Five years ago, few people had ever even heard of the cartridge. Today, most any gun store has 10mm ammo on the shelf and most larger stores have at least one gun so chambered. Not to mention that there seems to be a thread about it on this forum or TFL that is no more than 3 days old at any given time. If anything, I would say that the 10mm is just now coming into it's own.

mpmarty
March 6, 2008, 01:41 PM
My choice in a perfect cartridge is the 10mm. It is superior to the large bores like the 460 Roland due to its higher sectional density with the same bullet weight. Any decent semi auto in 10mm is easy to shoot accurately at great distances and follow-up shots are easy and fast. Norma factory ammo is still around with 200gr jhp at over 1200fps. Careful handloads of Blue Dot, Accurate Arms #9 and Power Pistol or even 2400 will equal or exceed this level of performance and in a good all steel pistol there is no danger of excessive wear or damage.

Chemotaxis
March 6, 2008, 02:00 PM
I am very intrigued by this thread, as it speaks to the issue of what auto's are capable of....up here in Northern BC Bears are a big issue, and one local smith has created an interesting solution...read his website posting below...

More news on the .45 ACP "bear Gun" aka the .45-08 Armco. Have been popping out 200 grain hard-cast semiwadcutters at 1450 from a 5" barrelled Para Ordnance. The trick was to use Hodgdon Long Shot powder. I'll tone it down to about 1350 which is lots, but the hot ones were no problem to shoot, even with a stock 18# recoil spring. You NEED a shock buff in the gun! More testing this winter. Too bad the bears are hibernating... I've been reading a bit of Elmer Keith stuff, and have concluded that a good hardcast lead bullet with a flat nose and sharp shoulders is probably the best to use. Gee, that's the one we use for IPSC.

02/05/02. How about the new .45/08 ARMCO pistol wildcat cartridge! This is essentially a .308 case cut down to .45 ACP length and neck reamed to make room for a Nosler 230 grain FMJ flat point bullet (and as much powder as we can cram in behind it. Alternately a 200 grain hard cast SWC bullet beautifully cast and sized by Smart Bullets is used, at higher speeds, of course. Results? So far, almost 1200 FPS from the 230 grain bullet with a 4 1/4" barreled Springfield Armory Defender with a 2 port compensator and a 22 pound recoil spring. That will translate into well over 1200 with a 5" barrel (testing soon) and starts to get REAL close to what you get from a 4" Model 29 in .44 Magnum. 50% (at least) more rounds and twice the controllability. Recoil is absolutely nothing compared to the big magnums, although it IS noticeable! Testing is ongoing and will include a .40Super barrel with 200 grainers at around 1300 FPS. Should be fun. I still like the .45/08 version, and even at the speeds we've achieved, see no excessive pressure signs with Federal 150 (large pistol) primers, which are notoriously soft. The cases, of course, are made to withstand pressures we'll never encounter without actually blowing these pistol primers to smithereens! I really think that a standard 5" 1911 or Para Ordnance, set up with the heaviest recoil springs that Wolff makes, will push 230 grain bullets past 1250, without being anywhere near as punishing to shoot as a hot heavy bullet .44 Magnum load in a Redhawk, a much bigger and heavier gun.

The idea came from the need for a "Bear Gun" for the north where a lot of people who move about in the woods for a living are now getting licenses to carry a handgun. Traditionally it's been a .44 Magnum or bigger, but some of these are a pain to carry comfortably all day, along with a lot of other necessary gear.

I ran into a prospector who insisted on carrying a Colt Officer's Model loaded with 230 grain hardball! Another carries a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull and has a permanently disabled shooting hand and the biggest flinch you ever saw. Somewhere in between there has to be a gun that has the penetration and sheer bullet weight to take down a bear, even a grizzly, and still be shootable by the average person.

There are, of course, others like this, such as the .45 Super, touted by Ace Custom .45's out of Texas, the .451 Detonics Magnum of some years ago, and the new Triton .450SMC, as well as the .460 Rowland pushed by Clark, and sold only as a compensated gun. It gets to 1300 FPS, but probably needs the comp! All these, by the way, are the same overall length, although case lengths differ. The problem, as we've discovered, is to find a powder that will give us the velocity we want without compressing enough to start pushing the bullet back out. That lets out the old magnum standby, Hodgdon H110, and actually all its contemporaries, such as N110 Vihtavuori, 296, 2400, 4227 IMR, etc. N105 seems to compress at about 1200, so may be OK - and as is usual with this excellent powder, shows no more pressure than an ordinary IPSC load. Others hit the "wall" at 1050 and 1150, and we're currently playing with Tite Group, which is compact enough, and has shown nice results in some reasonable .44 magnum loads.



The plan is to have loads available to test guns built specifically for Bear Defense - hey, let's call them the Armco "BD" models - built around stainless steel .45 Para Ordnance P14-45 "Limited" guns modified with heavy recoil and firing pin springs and the THICK shock buffs made by Red Buff. The customers would be able to purchase ammo such as the .450SMC from Triton, or .45Super, as well as practice with regular .45 ammo by just swapping recoil springs. The guns could, of course, be modified to the customers' specs, with fiber optic sights, checkering, tungsten guide rods, but would basically be stock Paras, able to withstand being carried in all sorts of weather, and available instantly. The repeat shot capability would greatly exceed anything else available, even the trusty 12 gauge shotgun, and if 11 shots aren't enough, fire 10 and save one!

RyanM
March 6, 2008, 02:55 PM
Max pressure differences as well as case capacity.

.380 - 21,500 PSI
9mm - 35,000 PSI
.40 SW - 35,000 PSI
10mm - 37,500 PSI

golden
March 6, 2008, 06:24 PM
MachIVshooter,

Recoil is a major item with me. I never shoot my .44 magnum with full power loads and prefer to use WINCHESTER Silvertips in my .41 magnum. That is all the recoil I can tolerate.

I use my semi-auto pistols primarily for self defense. I prefer alloy and polymer guns as a steel gun is to heavy. Try wearing one for 15 hours at a stretch and you will see what I mean.
For this reason, I carry 9m.m. +P. It has the quickest recovery time between shots for a round of this power. More power is usually better, but slower recovery time can be deadly.
When I shot the .45ACP GLOCK, my recovery time was notably slower than with a GLOCK 17.
So now, when I want a lot of power, I use a .40 S&W with 155 grain JHP out of a 4.9 inch barrel. It has the power, accuracy and controlability I want, but only from a heavier gun than I want to carry.

The 10 m.m. gives more power and much more recoil. Since I can carry a .41 magnum, what does the 10 m.m. give me. For me, it is a step down in practicality. If it makes you happy or serves a need, good, but it does not have any real use to me in its full power loading and needs a bigger gun than I need.

Jim

BlindJustice
March 6, 2008, 08:45 PM
Just to add to the discussion:

.45 ACP 21,000
.380 - 21,500 PSI
.45 ACP 23,000
.400 CorBon 23,000
9mm - 35,000 PSI
.40 SW - 35,000 PSI
10mm - 37,500 PSI

the .400 CorBon approaches the 10MM until greater
the bullet weight gets above 165 gr. - it's the short
neck which limits bullet weight.

I've been checking Barnes XPB HP solid copper and
they make 140 gr. & 155 gr. in .40 cal.
I've got two loads currently in stock for .400 CorBon
155 gr. Hornady XTP JHP @ 1,350 FPS
155 gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP @ 1,400 FPS
that's in the high 600 FPE range if you think
that is important. I like the option of the
.45 ACP or .400 CorBOn with just a barrel change
with the same platform.

That said I'll probably get a CZ 75B wehn the
$300 comes in from the feds in May for an economical
alternative for range duty.

Comment on the .380 ACP - the heaviest bullet weights
are less than the lighter 9mm 115 gr. weight, and with
the 9mm some like the 147 gr. sub sonic which blows the
.380 out of the game with over 50-% more bullet weight.

Although it's a revolver round Rem.ington & Elmer blew it as an
LEO option imo - they should have planned it to start as a
.41 special then in the mid-70s create the .41 Mag. but
that's hindsight.

Deer Hunter
March 6, 2008, 08:50 PM
Big Boomer,

What other companies offer .45 Super, other than Buffalo Bore?

MachIVshooter
March 7, 2008, 09:17 AM
.45-08 Armco...........

Is a .45 Super with the wrong headstamp. That's how the .45 Super came to be-cut-down .308 brass. The stronger case head and webbing allows the greatly increased pressures.


Since I can carry a .41 magnum, what does the 10 m.m. give me.

Performance wise, nothing. Capacity, however, is 250% that of a .41 with some 10mm's. That stated, I never suggested you buy a 10. Just made careful mention that A) it's recoil is lower than the .41 Magnum as a result of the platforms it's chambered in and B) it isn't such a niche cartridge these days.

If you prefer the .41, great. More power to ya. But your personal preference doesn't make the 10mm any less useful or appealing to the rest of us.

I must admit, though, I'm a little confused as to how a 10mm pistol can be both too heavy and have too much recoil, but a .41 magnum revolver is tolerable. Only a couple of .41's are lighter weight than the average 10mm auto, and they certainly aren't lacking in the recoil department.

golden
March 7, 2008, 09:41 AM
It is easy to understand. My S&W model 57 weighs 3 pounds loaded. I do not use the .41 magnum for defense or work. I use it only as a hunting gun. It will not be used at a 5 yard range against multiple targets.

The full power 10m.m. like the .41 magnum has too much recoil as a defensive pistol. Remember that I said a .45ACP in 24 ounce gun also has too much recoil for me. It effects my recovery time between shots.
For this reason, I also use the .40 S&W in metal framed guns except at work where I am issued an H&K P2000. Great gun, too expensive!

Mach 4, how many of the rest of us can actually qualify with a 10 m.m.? It sounds nice, but I think the full power loads exceed the average person's recoil threshhold and in a polymer gun, it greatly exceeds it.

Jim

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